FCIAC teams captured nine state championships during spring season

Tradition was maintained during this past 2022 high school spring sports season.

The FCIAC has long had a tradition of having significant success virtually every spring in terms of combined state team championships and having many teams advance far in their respective state tournaments.

That was the case yet again this spring as there were nine teams from the FCIAC which won state championships. And the conference had a combined 105-66 record for a .614 winning percentage in tournaments in the seven sports in which teams advance through brackets.

Darien High School had three of its teams win state championships – the girls tennis, boys tennis and boys volleyball teams.

New Canaan and Staples each had a pair of state champions. New Canaan’s state champions were the girls lacrosse and girls golf teams. The boys lacrosse team and boys tennis team were the state championship teams for Staples.

The Fairfield Warde baseball team and Wilton’s boys lacrosse team also won state championships.

It was a double crown year for New Canaan’s girls lacrosse and girls golf teams, Darien’s girls tennis and boys volleyball teams, and Fairfield Warde’s baseball team. Those five teams won their state titles shortly after they won FCIAC championships.

Fairfield Warde defeated Southington, 7-5, in the championship game of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Baseball Tournament on June 11 at Palmer Field in Middletown.

The Mustangs added that state title on to the FCIAC championship they won when they defended their title with a 4-1 victory over Westhill in the conference tourney final. Fairfield Warde received 11 of the 14 first-place votes cast and was ranked No. 1 in the Final 2022 GameTimeCT Top 10 Baseball Poll.

The FCIAC had a combined 15-13 record in three state class baseball tournaments, including a combined 15-11 record in the Class LL tournament. Fairfield Warde was 5-0 while Danbury and Trumbull both advanced to the Class LL semifinals and had 3-1 records. A team from the FCIAC was the Class LL champion for the third consecutive spring season. Staples won in 2019 and Norwalk won its first state championship ever last year.

Wilton set a record for scoring the most goals ever in a state championship game in any of the three class tournaments when the Warriors won the CIAC Class M Boys Lacrosse Tournament with a 22-6 victory over Notre Dame-West Haven.

The state champions in the two largest boys lacrosse state class tournaments were FCIAC teams as Staples won its first postseason title ever with a 12-3 victory over Darien in the Class L final.

The conference had three teams in the Class L semifinals, with defending champion Ridgefield having lost a 9-8 overtime thriller to Staples in the semifinals.

The FCIAC boys lacrosse teams had an impressive .679 winning percentage with a combined 19-9 record in the Class L and Class M tournaments, going 14-8 in Class L and 5-1 in Class M.

Staples unanimously received all 15 first-place votes to secure the No. 1 ranking in the Final 2022 GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Lacrosse Poll while FCIAC champion Darien, Wilton and Ridgefield were ranked 2-4, respectively.

Darien defended its CIAC Class L Boys Volleyball Tournament championship and won its 49th consecutive match over the last two years with a 3-0 victory (25-22, 25-15, 25-10) over Trumbull. Darien’s last loss was by a 3-2 margin to Staples in the 2019 Class L final. This year Darien won its fifth overall state championship. The Blue Wave won Class L crowns in 2022, 2021 and 2017, and Class M titles in 2011 and 2008.

The conference had a combined 11-6 record in boys volleyball, going 8-5 from its six teams in the Class L tourney. New Canaan (3-1) advanced to the Class M championship match, where the Rams lost by 3-0 margin (25-21, 25-22, 25-20) to defending champion Joel Barlow.

New Canaan won the CIAC Class L Girls Lacrosse Tournament championship by winning a 14-13 thriller over Darien. All four teams in the semifinals were FCIAC teams, with Wilton and Ridgefield also having been there. The conference had a 14-8 record in the Class L tournament and an 18-9 combined record. St. Joseph finished 4-1 as the 15th seed in Class M after having lost to top-seeded Guilford, 12-8, in the championship.

New Canaan was ranked No. 1 and followed by Darien and third-ranked Wilton in the Final 2022 Top 10 Girls Lacrosse Coaches Poll.

New Canaan senior Molly Mitchell fired a 75 at Tashua Knolls Golf Course to win medalist honors and lead the Rams to the 2022 CIAC Girls Division I Championship by a wide margin on June 6.

New Canaan had a team score of 324, which was 28 strokes lower than runner-up Greenwich’s 352. The top three teams and four of the top five teams were from the FCIAC as Trumbull (364) placed third and Staples (367) was fifth.

New Canaan’s Rams won their fourth state championship in the last five seasons shortly after they won a fifth consecutive FCIAC championship. New Canaan won three straight girls golf state titles from 2017-19. It was also the fourth consecutive undefeated season for New Canaan.

Five days after the team state tournaments in golf, there were State Open tournaments on an individual basis for girls and boys. Staples senior Anna Lemcke of Staples shot a 79 to tie for first place and share co-medalist honors with Berlin’s Libby Dunn.

There were team class tournaments and then individual invitational tournaments in tennis.

Darien High School pulled off the girls and boys sweep of state tennis tournaments team championships.

Lauren Zhang, Darien’s No. 1 singles player, helped lead the Blue Wave to a 5-2 victory over Amity in the CIAC Class LL Girls Tennis Tournament final on June 5. Five days later Zhang secured her status as the best player in the state when she won the CIAC Girls Tennis Invitational.

The girls tennis teams in the FCIAC had a combined 13-9 record in the Class LL and Class M tournaments.

The Price sisters from Fairfield Ludlowe, senior Gabby and junior Ellie, teamed up to win the doubles championship at the girls invitational tourney.

Staples won the CIAC Class LL Boys Tennis Tournament for the sixth consecutive season with a 5-1 victory over Greenwich in the final. The Wreckers began their streak when they were co-champions with Greenwich in 2016 and since then they have won the last five outright. Luke Brodsky and Alex Guadarramo of Staples won the doubles championship at the CIAC Boys Tennis Invitational.

Fairfield Warde junior Petro Kuzmenok defended his singles championship at the boys tennis invitational.

Darien won its third straight CIAC Class L Boy Tennis Tournament team title with a 6-1 victory over New Canaan in the final.

The FCIAC combined for an exemplary 17-8 record in the two largest boys tennis state tourneys – a 9-6 record in the Class LL and 8-2 in Class L.

The format for winning team state championships in boys tennis was one CIAC State Open for the first nine years from 1967-75 before four state class tournaments were added in 1976.

Staples won the 1971 State Open for the first title in school history and since then the Wreckers have racked up 24 state championships in a few different classifications, including the last 18 since 1998.

Since Darien won its first state championship (Class L) in 1976, the boys tennis program has now collected 15 state championships in a few classifications.

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